Life in Lo de Marcos Mexico

Giant waves in San Pancho, Mexico

Giant waves in San Pancho, Mexico

I have been in Mexico for 3 weeks now and I have not gotten around to doing any posts – time just seems to slip by and I haven’t given much thought to writing.  Life in Lo de Marcos which is about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta is really wonderful, stress free and easy-going.  Fresh veggies and fruit everyday…half a block to the beach where the waves can be massive great for boogie board enthusiasts for sure.  Just a very contented life which I could slip into very quickly.  Still have another 3 weeks to enjoy.

There are lots of talented artists and musicians that winter here which is so inspiring. I have been doing a little bit of art and experimenting with using some of the palm bark to paint and collage on as it has a very interesting texture.  My good friends are getting married here next Wednesday and are going to have a golf cart decorated to transport the wedding party so I made a quick little sign for them to hang on it  ‘Justo Casada’ (Just Married).  The picture I am posting is not the best but at least it gives an idea of what I am talking about.

Til next time


Justo Casada

Justo Casada





Handmade vintage-look roses from coffee filters

`Self-worth is a stepping-stone to Self-love
Relax your fears and spread your goodness for all to see`

I first discovered coffee filter roses back in the spring when I was searching for alternatives to live flowers for my daughter`s wedding – Martha Stewart has this great tutorial on her Website by crafter Cassie Chappell  I tried making a few roses, using watercolours to tint the roses and I loved what I created, but they were time-consuming to make and I had lots of flowers to make for the wedding, so I ended up making Mexican tissue flowers instead. You can see my Mexican tissue flower creations in an earlier post.  I discovered  The-White-Bench Blog  by Monica who lives in Italy, I find it amazing that we can be in touch with artists sharing their talents on the other side of the world.  She generously provided a tutorial of her version of the coffee filter roses in a vintage style which I absolutely loved.  I decided to try Monica`s take on the filter roses and have created 16 roses to use as Christmas gifts for my special girlfriends. 

I used the pattern available for download from the Martha Stewart site and instead of using florist tape to wrap the rose petals I used thread instead; once the rose petals were all attached I positioned the petals and then dipped and soaked the rose into a coffee and cinnamon mixture, and then sprinkled a bit more cinnamon on the petals, rubbing the cinnamon into the leaves.  I placed the tinted roses onto a tin foil covered cookie sheet and into  the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, be very careful, put the timer on, because if your oven is too hot the leaves will burn quickly.  I put my flowers in before the oven was totally heated and then left them for 15 minutes then turned the oven off and left the flowers in the warm oven for another 5-10 minutes to ensure they were totally dry.  I brushed off the excess cinnamon on the petals and wrapped the stems with masking tape and then attached a chop stick with masking tape wrapping down the stick until it feels secure, (who knew one day all those chops sticks I have saved would come in handy).  Next I took ribbon and wrapped it around the chopstick; using the pointed end of a chopstick I curled the petals to give a

Coffee Filter Vintage Roses

more realistic look to the flower.  I have saved vintage lace ( I think my grandmother actually crocheted the lace long ago) over the years and used that to embellish the rose stem.  I had a roll of  pearls that I wove into the vintage lace and then grouped 2 or 3 together and tied some burlap around the stems and added a vintage looking button on the knot to finish it off.  I love the finished look, the

Coffee Filter Rose Bouquet

flowers are beautiful, they will last for a long time and they smell good….cinamon.  I think they make a great hostess gift or a lovely gift for a friend, plus they are inexpensive to make just takes your time.  The final touch was adding a little hand painted shipping tag that I stamped with Thank You, Merci, Gracia  for a very special person.  

Once you get into a rhythm of making these roses it doesn`t take too long may be about 30 minutes per rose and the results are well worth the time.  I am pretty sure I will be making more and even some for my own home. 

Until next time – happy creating!


Handmade Flowerless Wedding Bouquets and Corsages

Now that my daughter’s wedding is over I can write about the beautiful wedding bouquet she made.  She decided that she did not want to have any live flowers at her wedding so she designed the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets herself by using tulle and pretty coloured Christmas bulbs.  Her colours for the wedding were fuchsia, kiwi and robin egg blue and amazingly every time we went looking for decorations right down to the plates and cutlery we were able to find the exact colours.  So when all of the Christmas decorations were out we were in Michael’s and there were the perfect bulbs in all her colours for the bouquets.  She created such beautiful bouquets for herself and her attendants and the  nice thing is that they will be able to keep them for a long time.  She made a mini one for the bouquet toss. 

Handmade Flowerless Wedding Bouquets

So trying to follow tradition and having some sort of corsage for the mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom I designed lovely wrist corsage, a pink one for myself that had an elastic beaded bracelet in pink tulle and ribbon and a blue tie-on corsage for the groom’s mother.  unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the blue one before it was presented, but I did take one of mine. 

Top view of wrist corsage

It was really fun designing them and they were very  comfortable to wear and will be a long-lasting memory of my daughter’s wedding. 

Handmade wrist corsage

I made all  of the reception decorations using tissue paper to create Mexican tissue flowers in all of the colours.  For the head table I created a garland made from the flowers.  The table centres I collected branches and we spray painted them white and added some iridescent sparkles to them when they were still wet so they would glisten.  Then I made tiny tissue flowers which I glued onto the branches.  We found some great tall freezer glasses

Handmade table centre piece

 that were the right colours to use as vases, added a battery tea light to the bottom of the glass and then some tulle for filler and then the sprayed branches.  They looked really good and were so inexpensive to make. 

So it goes to show you if you really get creative you can decorate on a very small budget and still have it look magical.

Til next time, happy creating


June Wedding Frenzy

I haven’t posted in a few weeks because I have been so busy preparing for my daughter’s wedding, travelling to attend my great niece’s wedding and then travelling to San Diego for my daughter’s wedding ceremony on Coronado Beach.  It was so beautiful and such a happy, happy day.  Having so much fun is exhausting and I am enjoying my ‘me’ time today now that I am back home.  Spending five days with the wedding party and grooms friends – all 20 somethings brings me back to my 20’s and realizing how as we grow older we lose are stamina for partying through the night.  

We were so fortunate to have found a wonderful house to rent that all of the wedding party could stay at – it even had a pool, hot tub and a large patio and barbecue, it was perfect.  The weather could have been warmer and sunnier – in San Diego they call it June gloom and I understand what that means now….it can be beautiful and sunny one minute and then the marine clouds roll in quickly and the temperature drops drastically.  One thing we really noticed that there are so many people in California – someone said that there are more people living in California then all of Canada.  The freeways are 4+ lanes and it seemed to be clogged all of the time and they are very aggressive drivers too…. so now we are back to our two lane highways I think if we had their highway system we would never have rush hour traffic here.

So next up is the wedding reception this coming Saturday with family and friends – we are so looking forward to celebrating with everyone. Still working on some decorations, seating plans etc. but it is all coming together nicely.  Then the happy couple will be off to Mexico for a lovely honeymoon. 

Til next time